Written by licensed Acupuncturist & Herbalist, Carissa Kelly.
1. It Creates a bath for your Nervous System
Stress, diet, pain, work, hormone imbalance, and toxicity can wreak havoc on our nervous system. When the body’s physical, emotional and spiritual environment are under siege in even the slightest way, the nervous system becomes activated. Sympathetic tone becomes amplified and we understand this, in simple terms, as being in ‘fight or flight’ mode. Even mild fluctuations in this direction can create tension that we then adapt to. We’ve become accustomed to adapting and in that we become desensitized and unaware of the impact. As a seasoned practitioner of Chinese Medicine, I see patients every day that shift away from sympathetic dominance post-treatment as they enter into a more parasympathetic state. We know this state as ‘rest and digest’. Acupuncture is wildly successful in shifting the body into this state. When parasympathetic tone is activated, rest, digestion, healing and procreation happen spontaneously as a function of nature.
Chinese medicine is highly sought after to relieve stress (rest), improve uncomfortable symptomatic presentations arising in the gut (digest), decrease pain and resolve wounds from injuries or athletic recovery (heal), and increase fertility in regards to natural conception and alongside fertility treatments such as IUI and IVF (procreate). This is largely due to the nervous system bath that this ancient medicine provides as it calms and restores harmony.
2. Acupuncture Increases Circulation in the Entire Body
With my patients, I commonly talk about Qi and blood. Qi can be looked at as a metaphysical mystery, but in the simplest of terms it is the motive force behind that which pushes the blood and ‘functions’ the organs. It can be understood in basic terms as energy and in regards to human beings, life force. Acupuncture is the insertion of needles beyond the outermost layer of the skin barrier intentionally placed to affect the Qi and blood as well as different aspects of the internal terrain/environment. The energetic flow or more plainly understood, circulation, can be stagnated, weakened, flooded, diverted or moving against the grain. The natural flow of blood and Qi within the body can be restored using acupuncture. If an injury occurs that disrupts normal physiological movement within the body and acupuncture is applied, the circulation of the entire body is impacted. Treatment of knee pain locally, for example, will alter the blood of the entire body because the body is a closed unified system. The impact resets and restores physiology and the patient’s overall sense of wellness.
3. A Micro ‘Trauma’ Incites a Macro Healing
Falling and scraping a knee results in bleeding, a bandaid and a scab. Ultimately, in most cases, the scab would eventually fall off with no trace of the original injury. When we consider the mystery and beauty behind this, we see that as the skin barrier is passed through, the bodies innate ability to heal turns on. The Chinese recognized this and harnessed this phenomenon by inciting a micro trauma, acupuncture, to turn on the bodies incredible proclivity to heal itself. I like to think of this system as a hack of sorts. The depth and breadth of Chinese Medicine is much more vast and ornate and takes years of study to understand how to use it to bring about maximum relief to a patient. It all stems from the principle of knowing through observation that the human form is designed to self heal. As a practitioner, my job is to find anything that may pick at the metaphorical scab and to understand the system itself to connect the needs of the body’s organs within each person. One needle and one treatment alone sparks the intrinsic inclination to regenerate. Over time, these treatments build on each other fostering a sense of health, vitality and overall wellbeing.
Read more about the benefits of acupuncture here.